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As a newbie I would appreciate any advice on starting out with Linux. I am used to win 98 but six months I purchased a laptop with win xp. Three months ago win xp started giving me problems.
I have just purchased a new pc ( intel pent 4 550 1gb ddr- 250gb HD - ati radeon x300) which has win xp installed.
I am entirely fed up with win xp and have spent hours and hours sorting problems, black screens, error messages, shut downs etc etc.
For work I use lotus, eudora, opera, paint shop pro and for fun I use microsoft flight 2004.
On the laptop I use the same but have a gps system with a usb antenna, thats also gone wrong but I think it is something to do with win xp....
Any suggestions please would be welcome.
PS As the pc is brand new I have not yet installed anything on it so I am free to make a fresh start if you see what I mean.............
If you need those programs specifically you're going to be stuck using CrossOver and that is if it will even support every program you listed. THere is no one greatest single distro. Some love Mandrake some Linspire or Fedora or Xandros, well you get the idea. I started with Linspire but will be switching to Fedora soon. I like Linspire's feel and so forth but it needs a different way of dealing with some things businesswise. It is great for a noob but you can get your feet wet with other distros and would be better off in the long run going that route. Try a few out and see what you think. Great thing about Linux is that distros are usually cheap. I just picked up several distros on CD from buying Linux format magazine. You'll have to burn them as ISO cds once you select the file you want. I've heard for hardware recognition Mandrake 10 is supposed to be great. Haven't tried it though.
I do not suggest anybody to use Mandrake or Mandriva 10 because the Mandrake team screw it up. I suggest Mandrake 9 because it is well put together.
Mandrake, Redhat or Fedora, Debian, Slackware, and many others are packaged based distributions. Some programs will be harder to install than others. Each of these distributions uses either RPM (Redhat Package Management), DEB, and tgz designed for Slackware. I prefer people to switch to Gentoo after they get acustom with Linux because it does not have a package based setup. Gentoo works by compiling each program by a utility called emerge. The utility emerge access the Portage cache directory to look up an ebuild file that instructs how to configure, compile, and install the desire program.
Eudora (I think) and Opera have native Linux ports, so you should not worry about these. Use their static version if possible. Static means that the program is independent of the libraries although the program will be slightly bloated or fat in size. Shared means that the program is dependent on the libraries, so the libraries that it requires have to be installed.
I use Paint Shop Pro through VMware, so Lotus should also work. VMware creates a virtual machine so you can run another operating system. It does support USB devices, so you can use the GPS device if Linux does not support it.
An ATI card is very hard to install for 3D rendering. I suggest a nVidia video card instead. nVidia video cards are the easiest to install and setup. Also you get full support of your nVidia video card in Linux. ATI gives partial to half support in Linux.